TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — International luxury brands are offering exclusive NFTs (non-fungible tokens) to coincide with China’s Singles’ Day (Nov. 11).
Burberry, Coach, and Longines are all celebrating the biggest day of China’s retail calendar by creating the tokens as part of a push to enter the country’s shopping metaverse, according to a report by Business Insider.
NFTs are digital assets that denote ownership of unique physical or digital items (typically artworks, music, videos, and other content) located on a decentralized blockchain that guards against counterfeiting.
Last month, Alibaba’s Tmall e-commerce platform launched a “Double 11 Metaverse Art Exhibition” which coupled the NFTs with purchases of physical products.
Burberry, for example, gifted customers with an interactive animated deer NFT for buying one of 1,000 special edition scarves. They sold out at US$453 (NT$12,612) a piece on Oct. 20, the day they were listed.
Despite these Singles’ Day promotional offerings, the future of NFTs in the world’s second-largest economy looks precarious. In September, Chinese regulators announced a ban on all cryptocurrency transactions. NFTs are typically exchanged via cryptocurrency.
In response to the new crackdown, Alibaba and Tencent both rebranded NFTs on their platforms as “digital collectibles” (數位收藏品) last month, according to the South China Morning Post.
The effects of regulatory pressure have cooled China’s annual shopping frenzy and led to a change of tone by Alibaba, which stated this year that it will focus on sustainability, supporting charities, and inclusivity. These concepts seem to align with Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s (習近平) new push for “common prosperity” that supposedly aims to tackle the country’s growing inequality and conspicuous consumption.